|By Peter Giling|
The Spaxbooster is a well known booster, very easy to use , with a nice stabilised power output.
Without a regulated power supply in the booster, the output voltage to the trains will fluctuate with the amount of running trains.
Also different transformers give different voltages.
Therefore , the original Spaxbooster is already equipped with a regulated power supply for 15 Volt.
But that voltage cannot be changed, meaning that Spaxbooster is made for HO-scale.
Also the type of power supply is generating much heat, specially when used transformer is giving more voltage output as expected.
The ORD-3 does have a far more efficient switching power supply, and the output can be adapted to the different voltages, dependable on the used scale.
Voltages of different scales according to the NMRA DCC standard are:
The selection of output of the ORD-3-rc is done by dip-switch.
ORD-3-rc connects to a Central unit by means of standard LocoNet connector, using only two wires.
ORD-3_rc is also useable for a direct connection to Serial port, USB<>RS232 cable. or even Raspberry Pi, where the connected computer is set to run DCC232 in Rocrail.
Furthermore, ORD-3-rc is adaptable for direct USB connection and it has the standard cutout for use with railcom decoders.
Three standard LocoNet connectors are available in front.
The signal input of ORD-3_rc is galvanic isolated by means of ultra fast opto-couplers.
ORD-3-rc has a few nice features:
Warning !: Due to railcom cutout option, this unit cannot be used together with standard ORD-3 units.
First start with all small resistors and IC sockets.
Then small capacitors and small elco's.
Then all connectors, leds, fuse and dip-switch(or 3 pin header).
Before mounting VR1,VR2,U1 and GR1, first fix the cooling block with two screws.
After that place VR1,VR2,U1 and GR1 in the pcboard and fix them with the clips.
Be sure that all parts are flat to the surface.
After that, cut the wires at the bottom at 1 mm outside the pcboard surface, and solder the wires.
Then fix resistors R5 and R14, and be sure to use the little standoff supports. Resitors will be very warm when in function.
In parts package (available from www.phgiling.net), these supports are included.
At last fix C9,C11.
Before inserting U2, test power 5V on pins 1 and 8.
As with all published units from GCA, the transformer used to supply this booster MUST be dedicated only to this unit.
Any connections from this transfomer to anything else (except of course the 230V supply) is strongly discouraged.
It might result in very strange and sometimes dangerous situations.
Keep it separated !!
|LED||Colour||Indicates (if on)|
|LED2||red|| Flashing » booster off
Lit » booster ON.
The PIC12F629 in this unit provides control over the output.
This zip file contains both firmware with and without Railcom.
It is important to use without Railcom when more then one boosters are used in the same layout. (Like for Spax system)
Serial ports are getting exotic in personal computers allthough in the professional machine world they are widely available.
But there are very cheap boards available to be used in your PC, adding two or more standard COM-ports to your PC.
We have to wish you good luck with Windows 10 installation!.
But for laptops, all this is no option.
One possibility, not the cheapest one, is the use of a SUB D9 USB-F connector.
It fits straight in the ORD-3-rc board, and the driver is loaded usually automatic when connected to the PC.
The other option is using a USB-RS232 cable.
There is no guarantee that the cable you already have is working, but it is worth trying.
Basicly the ORD-3-rc input is set for a general minimum of 10 Vpp from a standard serial port.
In both LocoNet or DCC232 situation a second ORD-3-rc can be connected with standard RJ12 cable to the first.
And the third to the second, etc. The three RJ12 connectors on front of ORD-3 are all the same and interconnected.
But ALL ORD-3-rc units with separate Transfomers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you do not like to spend money on cooling, it is possible to make it yourself.
Simply look at ORD-2 how this done.
It is not necessary to isolate both chips from the metal, but consider that the alu plate will be connected to 0V of the board.
The settings a in this table are also printed on the PCB itself.
|dip 1||dsip 2||scale|
The tranformer or power supply (=ac/dc adapter) for this unit should minimal 50VA.
The table below shows the best voltage regarding to the used scale.
|Voltage ac out||power supply dc out||scale|
Transformers do NOT have dc out! Except the speed/control output from any train transformer for two rail systems.
Using DC supply is no problem, polarity is not important.